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Chisling the Concrete Floor

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cpw
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Joined: May 19 2003

I'm having cork installed, and because it is thin everthing has to be very smooth underneath it. A previous owner installed an alarm system and there is a mass of 6 wires running across the hallway that I need to "bury" in the floor.

Has anyone exerienced hand chisling the floor or is a jackhammer the only way to go?

I have a call into Anderson Radiant Heating too.

The trough can either by wide and shallow or a little deeper and narrower.

Thanks,

Chuck

Chuck (West San Jose)

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Joined: Apr 8 2003

My experience is that that concrete is hard! It's possible to chisel small areas, but it's slow & very painstaking - you'll want to give up fast. Home Depot rent small electric jackhammers that are really easy to use and will make short work of the job. I rented one for part of a plumbing trench in our bathroom and it was well worth the 40 bucks. You'll need eye & ear protection.

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Joined: Apr 8 2003

Forgot to mention: wide & shallow is better than narrow & deep, since you don't want to cut through your radiant heat tubes. Depending on your floor plan, this is especially true in the hallway, where your main feeds and/or manifolds are nearby. For alarm wires, you should be able to go pretty shallow & not endanger your pipes. Hope this helps.

cpw
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Joined: May 19 2003

I shouldn't have to go to deep at all, 1/4" or so. I don't think I'll get close to the pipes, but I was told not to do this if the pipes are steel versus copper.

I'll spend a little time this weekend chipping away if the piping is copper and see how slow the going is. The electric jack hammer may be an option, but the less vibration the better as far as I am concerned.

Chuck

Chuck (West San Jose)

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

If you have a friend with a Large air compressor you might try an air chisel. They are hand held and will give you much more control.

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

I would also worry about the potential to crack the slab. If it were my house, I would not do it. No way. Why does the concrete need to be chiseled to hid the cords? Why not skim coat over them and then lay the cork over that?

Cathye

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

I would think that a hand held concrete cutter like this one would be more suitable for the job than a jackhammer. But you might want to talk to an experienced flooring contractor.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

skim coating the existing floor is EXPENSIVE!! chiseling or sawing is cheaper, thought going 1/4" will take quite a few blades! also suggest squirting water over the concrete to keep the blade lubed...you might need to do 2 cuts side by side and then chisel out the inbetween...

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

oops--i forgot

One last option: replace your alarm system with wireless...they are very inexpensive now. Some companies even install for free with one year service. no wires anywhere in the house!

cpw
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Joined: May 19 2003

It went just fine. I chisled a 1" wide path (about the width of the chisle) across the hallway in just over an hour. I went just a little more than the depth of the wires and then filled the space with concrete patch.
The floor is going to get skim coated before the cork is installed. I also have a wire crossing the doorway of the second bedroom, and I've cut that channel too, though I don't think it is deep enough yet. I doubt I'm going more than a 1/4" deep so there is no chance of cracking the slab and I certainly didn't see any sign of plumbing at that shallow depth.

I though about redoing the alarm with wireless, but I just don't need any more projects!

By the way, the linoleum time is coming up very slowly. The floor installer is doing it and not a single tile has just "popped off" as some thought they would. I had a hand at it today and I'm glad I'm paying him!

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I think the air chisel would have been the best choice if I had access to one.

Chuck

Chuck (West San Jose)

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